Villigen, Switzerland
Villigen, Switzerland

The Paul Scherrer Institute is a multi-disciplinary research institute which belongs to the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology Domain covering also the ETH Zurich and the EPFL. It was established in 1988 by merging in 1960 established EIR and in 1968 established SIN . Currently, it is based in Villigen and Würenlingen.The PSI is a multi-disciplinary research centre for natural science and technology. In national and international collaboration with universities, other research institutes and industry, PSI is active in solid state physics, materials science, elementary particle physics, life science, nuclear and non-nuclear energy research, and energy-related ecology.It is the largest Swiss national research institute with about 1,400 members of staff, and is the only one of its kind in Switzerland.PSI is a User Laboratory and runs several particle accelerators. The 590MeV cyclotron, with its 72MeV companion pre-accelerator, is one of them. As of 2011, it delivers up to 2.2mA proton beam, which is the world record for such proton cyclotrons. It drives the spallation neutron source complex. The Swiss Light Source , built in 2001, is a synchrotron light source with a 2.4GeV electron storage ring. It is one of the world's best with respect to electron beam brilliance and stability. An X-ray free-electron laser called SwissFEL is currently under construction and is slated to begin operation in 2016.The proton accelerators are also used for the proton therapy program. Wikipedia.


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X-ray scattering imaging can provide complementary information about the unresolved microstructures of a sample. The scattering signal can be accessed with various methods based on coherent illumination, which span from self-imaging to speckle scanning. The directional sensitivity of the existing methods is limited to a few directions on the imaging plane and it requires the scanning of the optical components, or the rotation of either the sample or the imaging setup, if the full range of possible scattering directions is desired. The present invention discloses a new arrangement that allows the simultaneous acquisition of the scattering images in all possible directions in a single shot. This is achieved by a specialized phase grating and means of recording the generated interference fringe with sufficient spatial resolution. The proposed technique decouples the sample dark-field signal with the sample orientation, which can be crucial for medical and industrial applications.


The present invention discloses an X ray detector with single photon measurement capabilities (14), comprising:a) a layer of photosensitive material (4);b) an NxM array of photo-detector diodes (2) arranged in said layer of photosensitive material (4); each of said photo-detector diodes (2) having a bias potential interface (12) and a diode output interface, said bias potential interface (12) of each photo-detector diode (2) being connected to a bias potential (V_(bias));c) an NxM array of high gain, low noise readout unit cells (RO), one readout unit cell (RO) for each photo-detector diode (2); andd) each readout unit cell (RO) comprising:d1) an input interface (IN) connecting said diode output interface to a high-gain charge-to-voltage amplifying means (34) comprising integration capacitors (Cf1, Cf2, Cf3),d2) said high-gain charge-to-voltage amplifying means (34) having a number of gains and being able to switch between the gains,d3) a comparator and a digital block (30) for monitoring the charge of the integration capacitance and for switching the actual gain to another gain depending from the monitored charge of the integration capacitance. This pixel detector provides the possibility of in pixel intermediate evaluation of an automatic gain switching circuit state to increase the dynamic range of the detector in case of quasi continuous incoming particle flux (quasi continuous flux being defined as a flux changing only on time scales bigger than 1/(frame rate)). The detector according to the present invention exploits the behavior of an automatic gain switching amplifier in case of a quasi-continuous incoming particle flux to extend the dynamic range up to several orders of magnitude.


Patent
Paul Scherrer Institute | Date: 2017-03-01

It is the objective of the present invention to provide a compact and cost effective light source based on a storage ring that can deliver sufficient power, stability and brightness for metrology methods in the EUV range. This objective is achieved according to the present invention by a compact light source (LS) based on synchrotron technology, comprising:a) a linear accelerator (LA) for electrons;b) a booster ring (BR) designed for top-up injection receiving the accelerated electrons via an injection pathway (SI);c) a storage ring (SR) receiving the accelerated electrons from the booster ring (BR) via top-up injection, keeping in this way the beam intensity stable to less than 5x10^(-3), wherein the electron energy of the electron beam in the storage ring (SR) ranges from 200 to 500 MeV and the current of the electron beam ranges from any lower value to 200 mA; andd) a low gap undulator (UN) comprised in the storage ring (SR); said undulator (UN) having an undulator period of 8 to 24 mm and a length of a large multiple of the undulator period. These measures result in a sufficiently compact source that fits into conventional labs or their maintenance areas and has quite low maintenance requirements and low cost of ownership. The wavelength of the light emitted by the undulator ranges from 5 to 30 nm. The light beam has an extreme stability smaller than 5.10^(-3), a sufficient power in a range larger than 10 mW and a high brightness larger than 10 kW/mm2.str. The parameter space of electron beam energy, undulator period length, number of undulator periods has therefore been optimized to provide the required wavelength and photon flux for metrology.


Patent
Paul Scherrer Institute | Date: 2017-03-08

Since the very first experiments with phase-contrast imaging at synchrotrons, X-ray scientists were quite excited by the potential of this novel approach, as the holy-grail of boosting the contrast of soft and radiation sensitive materials under dose-control seemed to be finally at reach. The features of gratings-based interferometry (GI) are well suited for transferring this exciting technology from the exclusive synchrotrons community to a much wider basin of potential users. Particularly for medical applications, the relation between image contrast and dose has triggered tremendous efforts in the development of novel imaging devices. Such systems essentially operate near to the photon-starvation limit to cope with the fundamental dilemma of providing sufficient diagnostic sensitivity and sensibility at an acceptable, as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) risk for the patient. If a new imaging modality were to be implemented in a clinical environment, it is needless to say that it has to be compliant with the very strict regulatory directives. The present invention proposes a system based exclusively on X-ray phase shifting components, i.e. without the use of an absorption grating, or a mask or a high-resolution detector. The novel approach is applicable at all imaging relevant energies and can be easily scalable to large field of views. The invention solves in one shot most the major limitations so far which were preventing a broad dissemination of phase contrast X-ray imaging on conventional sources.


Patent
Paul Scherrer Institute | Date: 2017-05-10

It is an objective of the present invention to provide a method for selectively processing the surface of a semiconductor substrate. This objective is achieved according to the present invention by a method to selectively process a surface of a substrate, preferably a semiconductor substrate, comprising the steps of:a) providing a substrate having an faceted surface defining sections with different surface orientation;b) applying a directional beam to the faceted surface thereby recording higher intensities of the directional beam into regions being oriented more perpendicular to the directional beam as compared to respective other sections being oriented less perpendicular to the directional beam;c) further selectively processing of the sections having received the higher intensities and/or of the section having received the lower intensities. This method enables the generation of self-aligned sections which depend on the local morphology of the faceted surface. The term faceted surface refers to surfaces having well separated regions with different surface orientations with respect to the averaged surface of the substrate. This term also includes for example undulated surfaces. The differences of the angles between the vector normal of the surface of the substrate and the incident beam will deliver different average beam exposurein the different sections of the faceted surface.


The present invention provides a movable gantry (2) for delivery of a particle beam using beam scanning technique, for example for the cancer treatment in human tissue; comprising:a) an inlet section (6) for an accelerated particle beam comprising a number of quadrupole magnets ;b) a first bending section (8) and optionally a second bending section (12) comprising a number of dipole and quadrupole magnets and optionally further magnets for beam correction;c) a transfer section comprising a number of quadrupole magnets and optionally further magnets for beam correction and a degrader (D);d) a last beam bending section (16) comprising a number of separate and/or combined dipole/quadrupole/higher order multipole magnets forming an achromatic section, wherein all magnets of this achromatic last bending section (16) are located downstream of the degrader (D); any dispersion in this achromatic last bending section (16) is suppressed so that it will have a momentum acceptance of more than 5%;e) a scanning section (15) comprising two separate or one combined fast deflection magnets (K1, K2) that deflect the beam at the iso-center in a direction perpendicular to the beam direction to perform lateral scanning; andf) a beam nozzle section (18) comprising a beam nozzle and optionally beam handling equipment, such as further beam degrading or modifying elements and/or beam quality related beam verifying elements. This combination of a degrader mounted in the gantry and a design of the gantrys beam transport magnets with a large momentum acceptance creates a possibility to increase the energy acceptance of the last bending section in the gantry and implement new dose application techniques, such as a fast change of proton energy at the patient without changing the magnetic field of the last bending section in the gantry.


Patent
Paul Scherrer Institute | Date: 2016-10-27

A laser ablation cell (1) comprises a flow channel (11) having an essentially constant cross-sectional area so as to ensure a strictly laminar flow in the flow channel. A sample chamber (21) is provided adjacent to a lateral opening (14) of the flow channel. A laser beam (41) enters the sample chamber (21) through a lateral window (16) and impinges on a surface (24) of a sample (23) to ablate material from the sample. The sample may be positioned in such a distance from the flow channel that the laser-generated aerosol mass distribution has its center within the flow channel. This leads to short aerosol washout times. The laser ablation cell is particularly well suited for aerosol generation in inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS), including imaging applications.


Patent
Paul Scherrer Institute | Date: 2017-04-05

It is the objective of the present invention to provide a waveguide that has excellent optical properties and can be easily produced. This objective is achieved according to the present invention by a photonic nanowires based waveguide, comprising: a) a plurality of nanowires; each nanowire having a ridge shape; b) said nanowires being supported by a support substrate or partially or totally free standing; c) said support substrate further supporting interfacing waveguides disposed on both sides of said plurality of nanowires. The special concept of present invention allows to aloign a number of ridge-shaped nanowire that enables to control the amount of light being outside the solid waveguide in the evanescence field. Further, the design is compatible with solid waveguides and offers the possibility to confine (guide the light) within a multiple waveguide arrangement.


The present invention discloses a method and a system (2) for resolving a crystal structure of a crystal (4) at atomic resolution by collecting X-ray diffraction images, comprising:a) ejecting a droplet (8) of fluid comprising single or multiple of crystal (4) into an ultrasonic acoustic levitator (6);b) levitating said droplet (8) of fluid comprising said crystal (4) in an ultrasonic acoustic levitator (6);b) monitoring the position and the spinning of the droplet (8) with a visualization apparatus;c) applying X-ray (20) to said crystal (4), said X-ray (20) stemming from an X-ray source (34); andd) detecting the X-ray diffraction images (24) from the said crystal (4) irradiated by the said X-ray source (34) by an X-ray detector (36) being capable to capture two dimensional diffraction patterns.


Patent
Paul Scherrer Institute | Date: 2017-05-31

It is the objective of the present invention to provide a degrader that has excellent degrading capabilities with, for the same energy loss in the degrader, a lower emittance increase as currently used materials, without generating a strong neutron flux and without having severe toxic characteristics. This objective is achieved according to the present invention by a degrader (2) for use in the field of the application of a particle beam (6), comprising degrading active material wherein the degrading active material comprises Boron Carbide B_(4)C. This degrader has an amount of multiple scattering that is lower than in graphite for the same energy loss. The use of B_(4)C increases the transmission by at typically 35% for the beam degradation to low energies, which is a significant and useful amount of beam intensity increase in particle therapy. The B_(4)C-material does not become more radio-active than graphite, so that there will be no additional problems at service activities. Further, B_(4)C as degrading active material does not have severe toxic properties.

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